Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


Central to Creativity – Matt McLeod

Matt McLeod is a painter, sculp­tor and mural­ist, specializing in fine art for residential, commercial and pub­lic art projects. His art hangs in many homes and businesses throughout Central Arkansas and beyond. Arguably his most visible work is the new mural at the corner of 6th and Main in the Creative Corridor.

Growing up in Little Rock, Matt graduated from Central High School.  After grad­u­at­ing from South­ern Methodist Uni­ver­sity in 1987, Matt spent a fifteen-year career in adver­tis­ing, before becom­ing a full-time artist. Matt spent the last eleven years in fine art, devel­op­ing paint­ings into his bold, vibrant style — what he calls Ener­getic Color.

Matt’s energetic color is included in sev­eral pri­vate and cor­po­rate col­lec­tions across the US and has brought significant recognition, includ­ing pieces in the Delta Exhi­bi­tion at The Arkansas Arts Cen­ter and a paint­ing on the front cover of the first Arkansas Artists Cal­en­dar, cre­ated by The Arkansas Governor’s Man­sion Asso­ci­a­tion.

In 2011, Matt was the fea­tured artist for River­fest music fes­ti­val. Matt was the fea­tured artist for MusicFest El Dorado, in 2012. In 2013, Matt was the fea­tured artist for The Thea Foundation’s Annual Spring Fine Arts Fes­ti­val. In October 2015, Matt opened a gallery in down­town Lit­tle Rock, spe­cial­iz­ing in highly col­lectible regional artists and res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial commissions.

In addition to his mural at the corner of Main and Scott Streets, Matt is currently at work on a mural on the side of the Besser Hardware building in the 1000 block of Main Street.

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Open Studios Little Rock today

oslr_logo_goldred_ac-lineThe City of Little Rock Arts+Culture Commission is thrilled to announce its first-ever Open Studios Little Rock.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, gain exclusive access to 30 artist studios and cultural institutions that will open their doors and give you a firsthand look at their creative process. The lineup of studios visits includes artists working in the visual and performing arts, plus cultural institutions that will open their respective studios for guided tours and demonstrations.

Referred to as a city-wide exhibition, Open Studios gives you unparalleled access to artists living and working in Little Rock. Studio visits are free and open to the public.
To plan your Open Studio visits:

  • Download the Open Studios map (click here)
  • Visit the Open Studios Welcome Booth in the Creative Corridor the day of the event. Complimentary coffee and doughnuts will be provided, plus the opportunity to tour two participating studios – Matt McCleod Fine Art and Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Education Annex. The Welcome Booth will be located in front of Matt McLeod Fine Art, 108 West 6th Street, 72201.

Artists who are unable to welcome the public into their studios will showcase their work at the Alternative Space hosted at the West Central Community Center, 8616 Colonel Glenn Road, 72204.

During Open Studios, the colorful “Open Studio” signs will alert you to Open Studio spaces.

SALES

Sales are handled by each artist and we do not take a percentage. You may sell prints, other artistic projects and commission customized work for the future. It is suggested that you are equipped to accept credit cards.

Participating Artists (as of 5.15.2017)

  • Adrian Quintanar Pottery
  • Catherine Rodgers Contemporary Art
  • Co-Op Art
  • Elizabeth Weber
  • Felice Farrell
  • Gary Cawood
  • Glenda McCune
  • Ike Garlington
  • Jeff Horton
  • Jennifer Cox Coleman
  • Jennifer Perren
  • Jerry Phillips’ Studio
  • Jimmy Parks
  • Linda Ferstl Watercolors
  • Little Rock Violin Shop
  • Marisa Cook
  • Maritza and Terry Bean Artists
  • Mary Pat Tate
  • Matt McLeod Fine Art
  • MichaelWardArt
  • Michael Warrick
  • New Deal Studios and Gallery, featuring the work of Jeff Waddle
  • Ruth Pasquine
  • Sandy Furrer, Certified Scottish Country Dance Teacher
  • Sandra Sell

Participating Cultural Institutions:

  • Arkansas Arts Center
  • Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Education Annex
  • Mosaic Templars Cultural Center featuring the work of Nina Robinson


Your Heart will be filled with ART at tonight’s 2nd Friday Art Night

2FAN logo Font sm2It is 2nd Friday Art Night again. From 5pm to 8pm (times may vary at individual locations), a variety of museums and galleries downtown are open with free events to enjoy art, music and exhibits.

Highlights include:

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center – Opening reception for “I WALKED ON WATER TO MY HOMELAND” FEATURING WORKS BY DELITA MARTIN (6pm to 8pm)

“I Walked on Water to My Homeland” is a series of mixed media works that explore the power of the narrative impulse. These works capture oral traditions that are firmly based in factual events and bring them to life using layers of various printmaking, drawing, sewing, collage and printing techniques.

The opening will feature an artist talk, refreshments and live entertainment by Acoustix with Rod P. featuring Bijoux.

Matt McLeod Fine Art – (5pm to 8pm)

A chance to see the art at the gallery and perhaps pick up a Valentine’s gift.

Historic Arkansas Museum – Opening reception for ARKANSAS CONTEMPORARIES: THEN, NOW, NEXT (5pm to 8pm)

Check out the new exhibit and enjoy a free evening of art, history, Museum Store shopping and live music by Shannon Wurst!
Enjoy a craft cocktail by Pink House Alchemy(They will also have Pink Lemonade)
Enter to win a box of chocolates from Cocoa Rouge-The winner will be announced at 6:30 pm (must be present to win)

“Arkansas Contemporaries: Then, Now, Next” – The museum’s Trinity Gallery for Arkansas Artists and Second Floor Gallery for Emerging Artists focus on exhibitions by contemporary Arkansas artists. This exhibit features exemplary selections from the museum’s permanent collection and reflects upon the work of the talented Arkansans who have been represented in these galleries over the past ten years and a glimpse to future exhibitions.  Featured artworks in this exhibit represent important points in the careers of contemporary Arkansas artists like Bryan Massey, Warren Criswell, Katherine Strause, John Harlan Norris, Katherine Rutter, Grace Mikell Ramsey and others.  Exhibit continues through May 8, 2016.

Old State House Museum – Felice Farrell, cello (5pm to 8pm)

Join the Old State House as Arkansas Symphony Orchestra cellist Felice Farrell performs solo works for cello by the well-known 18th century German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and 20th century Spanish cellist and composer Gaspar Cassado. The Old State House Museum is one of several downtown locations that hosts this evening of entertainment and exhibits. While here, shop the Museum Store. Visitors can ride the trolley to visit other Second Friday venues, including the Historic Arkansas Museum.

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies – Opening reception for PAINTING 360: A LOOK AT CONTEMPORARY PANORAMIC PAINTING (5pm to 8pm)

On view through Saturday, April 30, artists whose work is featured in Painting 360° include Marcia Clark, Nicholas Evans-Cato, Christopher Evans, Amer Kobaslija, Jackie Lima, Matthew Lopas, Carrie O’Coyle, Dick Termes, and Melissa Cowper Smith.
Featured artist: Julie Holt, an artist who handbuilds clay objects and vessels.
Featured musician: The Rolling Blackouts


Bonus Highlight of 2015 – Creative Corridor

Sep opening ccA grand opening to highlight the new features and completed sections of the Creative Corridor’s Low Impact Development (LID) streetscape took place on September 14 as the revitalization of Little Rock’s Main Street continues to take shape, block by block.  Earlier in the year, Matt McLeod’s mural Beneath the Surface was dedicated at the corner of Sixth and Main Streets.  Together with Lorri Acott’s sculpture Peace and mural banners by Stephano and Virmarie DePoyster, public art is taking shape along the Creative Corridor.

The most recently completed improvements in the 500 block of Main Street were opened to the public for strolling along the tree-lined boardwalk on the west side.  All of the pedestrian and environmentally friendly streetscapes in the 100, 200, 300 and 500 blocks of Main Street contain LID features such as bioswales, porous pavers, rain gardens, and other biodiverse vegetation.

The grand opening also celebrated the elements of creative place-making that have occurred. Recent public art installations and the clustering of artistic and creative organizations on Main Street are transforming the Creative Corridor into a downtown hub that supports a great level of pedestrian activity, sociability, recreation and aesthetics.

An arts open house and reception followed the tour, with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Arkansas, Matt McLeod Fine Art, and Cranford Co. opening the doors to their new, connected spaces. Later that week, ACANSA kicked off with a street party showcasing the ASO.

The Creative Corridor is a mixed-use development project aimed at restoring the vitality of Main Street by creating an arts district and retrofitting a four-block segment of the street between President Clinton Avenue and 7th streets. The City of Little Rock estimates that more than $100 million in private and public investment has occurred to date to help make this vision a reality.


Creative Class of 2015: Matt McLeod

McLeodMuralMatt McLeod is a painter, sculp­tor and mural­ist, spe­cial­iz­ing in fine art for res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial and pub­lic art projects. His art hangs in many homes and businesses throughout Central Arkansas and beyond. Arguably his most visible work is the new mural at the corner of 6th and Main in the Creative Corridor.

After grad­u­at­ing from South­ern Methodist Uni­ver­sity in 1987, Matt spent a fifteen-year career in adver­tis­ing, before becom­ing a full-time artist. Matt spent the last eleven years in fine art, devel­op­ing paint­ings into his bold, vibrant style — what he calls Ener­getic Color.

Matt’s Ener­getic Color is included in sev­eral pri­vate and cor­po­rate col­lec­tions across the US and has brought sig­nif­i­cant recog­ni­tion, includ­ing pieces in the Delta Exhi­bi­tion at The Arkansas Arts Cen­ter and a paint­ing on the front cover of the first Arkansas Artists Cal­en­dar, cre­ated by The Arkansas Governor’s Man­sion Asso­ci­a­tion.

In 2011, Matt was the fea­tured artist for River­fest music fes­ti­val. Matt was the fea­tured artist for MusicFest El Dorado, in 2012. In 2013, Matt was the fea­tured artist for The Thea Foundation’s Annual Spring Fine Arts Fes­ti­val. This month, Matt opened a gallery in down­town Lit­tle Rock, spe­cial­iz­ing in highly col­lectible regional artists and res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial commissions.


Creative Corridor Celebrated This Afternoon

A grand opening to highlight the new features and completed sections of the Creative Corridor’s Low Impact Development (LID) streetscape will be held 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14, as the revitalization of Little Rock’s Main Street continues to take shape, block by block.

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola will join Ron Curry, Region 6 administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Randy Young, executive director of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, for the kickoff event, which will begin with a project update at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre (601 Main Street). Professor Stephen Luoni of the University of Arkansas School of Architecture and director of the UA Community Design Center will give an informative presentation on the theories of Low Impact Development and creative place-making that underpin the project.

The most recently completed improvements in the 500 block of Main Street will be open to the public for strolling along the tree-lined boardwalk on the west side.  All of the pedestrian and environmentally friendly streetscapes in the 100, 200, 300 and 500 blocks of Main Street contain LID features such as bioswales, porous pavers, rain gardens, and other biodiverse vegetation.

The grand opening will also celebrate the elements of creative place-making that have occurred. Recent public art installations and the clustering of artistic and creative organizations on Main Street are transforming the Creative Corridor into a downtown hub that supports a great level of pedestrian activity, sociability, recreation and aesthetics.

An arts open house and reception will follow the tour, with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Arkansas, Matt McLeod Fine Art, and Cranford Co. opening the doors to their new, connected spaces.

“The progress on Main Street is a harbinger of the exciting development yet to come for this area,” says Stodola. “The Creative Corridor, once just a vision, has become a vibrant reality that has earned national accolades, brought together many of our City’s cultural institutions, and created these beautiful spaces that will continue to grow.”

The Creative Corridor is a mixed-use development project aimed at restoring the vitality of Main Street by creating an arts district and retrofitting a four-block segment of the street between President Clinton Avenue and 7th streets. The City of Little Rock estimates that more than $100 million in private and public investment has occurred to date to help make this vision a reality.

 


Heritage Month – Pfeifer Brothers Department Store

Pfeifer Brothers Department Store was an important part of imageMain Street’s commercial character. Built in 1899, the building’s interior was remodeled in 1939 and the exterior was remodeled in 1960. Pfeifer Brothers Department Store was originally occupied by Arkansas Carpet and Furniture Company. In 1911 Joseph Pfeifer leased the building for his clothing company. 
In 1912, the redevelopment of the building for the Pfeifer Brothers Department Store was designed by prominent Arkansas architect Charles Thompson.  The structure had originally been built in two stages. The south half being built first in 1899 and the north half added about a year later. In 1939 Pfeifer Brothers remodeled the interior first floor with streamlined, chrome-trimmed fixtures. A marble façade was added on the Sixth Street elevation.
A major exterior renovation was undertaken in 1960 when a false façade of granite panels was wrapped around the Main and Sixth street elevations, covering all openings and detail. At this time the original cornice was destroyed but the majority of historic detail remained.In 1963 Pfeifers was bought by Dillard’s Department Stores and as a new entity the store continued in business at 524 Main until closing in 1990. In 1996 a new owner undertook rehabilitation of the historic structure by removing the granite panels and exposing original windows and terra cotta elements.
The building, now called the Arkansas Building, is an anchor of the Creative Corridor revitalization. It will house Ballet Arkansas, additional space for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Cranford Co. and Matt McLeod’s art studio on the first floor. The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will be on the ground floor of the Arkansas Building and in an adjacent building.  The upstairs will be apartments.
The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places fifteen years ago today on May 18, 2000.